The All New Adventures of Shopping With Kids


Before having kids, I loved to go shopping. I could easily spend three or four hours at the mall. Not really buying much. Just browsing around. This is my favorite time of the year when the stores are stocked with goodies for Christmas gifts.

Since having kids, I have not given up my love of shopping – it just comes in different forms. Frequent Amazon shopper right here! Or quick trips with the kids to run in and grab one or two things. And my favorite words are “Free shipping on ANY order!”  The best yet, are those few and far between shopping trips – ALONE!

My boys are nine months old and three years old. Since number two was born, I have not been to the mall with both kids.

Trying to navigate the stores with a double stroller sounds like too much work! Or letting a 3 year-old-walk is a whole other adventure.

I have not even done full grocery shopping by myself with both kids yet. {A huge thanks to my husband who’s been willing to do the job on the weekends.} Really, I don’t even know how you grocery shop with 2 kids. Where do you put the baby carrier? Where do you put the groceries?


What it really boils down to is that I am a little A LOT afraid of what is going to happen when I take both kids to a store. My pessimistic side takes over and I imagine the worst…crying kids, poopie diapers, kids getting lost, and full on meltdowns right in the store. I picture ALL of the people in the store pointing and staring at me… “The mom who can’t control her kids.”

Three days before our recent family pictures, I decided 3 out of 4 of us needed new shirts to wear. I was stressing over the “perfect” coordinated look. While my oldest was in preschool, the baby and I headed to Kohl’s. I hurried through the store and headed to the checkout with a pile of clothes (that I did not try on) like it was a race against naptime. I felt like a rock star because my baby slept the whole time!

Back at home I tried on my shirts, decided which were keepers and what was going back.

That afternoon, I was anxious to get my return taken care of and pick up a couple of things that I did not get the first trip. I decided to be brave and go shopping with both kids.

Return bag in one hand and a big helper pushing the stroller, we marched up to customer service.

And here’s how my adventure of shopping with 2 kids went…

When we were standing in line for the return, my three-year-old asked for a snack. I willingly gave it to him because I didn’t want him fussing. {Note to self – bring more than one snack next time.   The kid might eat one during the first 2 minutes at the store.}

After the snack was gone, he proceeded to touch EVERYTHING. I don’t know how many times I said, “Stop touching that!” {It felt like A MILLION times by the way.} In an effort to get him to walk nicely with me, I told him that there were toys in the store and he could get a car, IF he walked nice and didn’t touch the clothes, scarves, necklaces, etc. That bribe only cost me a few bucks and another car to step on.

Moving on to my next fiasco. I had hung a couple of shirts from the stroller handle bar. So I’m rolling along and did not realize one of the shirts fell off the hanger. Suddenly the stroller won’t budge and I look down to see a shirt wrapped around the wheel. I pulled at the shirt but it was seriously stuck. I looked around for a sales associate. Nobody in sight. I panicked for a moment. I literally thought I was going to have to cut the shirt off! Not sure how, but I did get the shirt unstuck WITHOUT using scissors!

Once we were rolling again, I impulsively decided to look at shoes really fast, since we were there. I spotted a cute pair of grey knee high boots and grabbed the HUGE box in my size. At this point, I have shirts hanging from the stroller handle bar, HUGE box of boots under my left arm, diaper bag slung cross body while pushing the stroller one-handed and encouraging my toddler to “help me push” so that he would walk next to me.

We were on our way to the checkout when I saw the “perfect” zip up sweater for my husband to wear for pictures. As I looked for his size, my three-year-old walked around the rack out of my sight. I said his name, but he didn’t answer. I said his name again. No answer. My heart beat out of my chest during that split-second when he was out of my sight. It was really just a second and he popped right around the rack. I knew he was there, but for a moment I was FREAKING OUT. I am having a serious talk with him about holding my hand.

Finally, it was time to checkout. Somehow we all survived this shopping adventure, but I was exhausted from all the mishaps and my left arm was killing me from carrying too much stuff. On a positive note, once again, baby boy slept the whole time!


Shopping with kids is NOT for the weak. I think we need some serious tricks or Super Mom powers to get though it. My trip to Kohl’s taught me a couple of things for next time. But, I still need help! What are your tips to make shopping with kids easier?

Advice & suggestions welcome & wanted!

**Looking for a chance to do some shopping without the kids? And get a chance to meet some other local mamas?! Join us for our Holiday Shop Crawl on December 4th in Downtown Iowa City!! Tickets include storewide discounts at 10 stores, snacks, drinks, and giveaways…followed up with coffee and dessert! Get all the details, and your tickets, HERE.

Shari is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband Mark, 2 boys and a pug named Yoda. Her toddler and preschool age boys keep her very busy. She loves warm Iowa days for playing outside with her family. In her "spare time" Shari enjoys quiet activities like crafting, browsing Pinterest, learning photography, creating family photo books and watching favorite shows with her husband. She also loves Iowa City Moms Blog and her MOPS group for the connections with other mommies!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.